Abit IC7G and Asus P4C800 Canterwood Mobotherboards

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Abit IC7G and Asus P4C800 Canterwood Mobotherboards - Page 1

Abit IC7-G vs. Asus P4C800
A tale of two Canterwoods

By, Dave Altavilla
April 29, 2003

     

Intel's i875P/i865P Canterwood/Springdale chipsets have all the markings of a second coming; the second coming of the "BX".  Intel's 440BX was a chipset for the Pentium 3, that reigned supreme years ago, as the premier motherboard platform to couple with a high end Intel CPU.  Back in the day, there were so many incarnations of motherboards built on the 440BX, that it even scaled beyond its targeted life span and host bus speed, with some motherboard manufacturers characterizing the chipset up to a 133MHz system bus, while it was only designed to run at 100MHz.  Yes, the BX was the place to be back then.  VIA and a few other competitors stepped up to take shots at the "Big I" but at the end of the day, it was all surface noise.

Since then, the Pentium 4 has had a bit of a tough road with respect to chipsets.  Intel's i850(E) chipset was saddled with an ever controversial and expensive RDRAM memory interface and it ultimately hindered the P4's pervasiveness in the mainstream, allowing AMD's Athlon to take off within the enthusiast markets.  Realizing this, Intel re-targeted its sights on DDR technology and released the i845, which was a step in the right direction from a cost standpoint, but didn't quite have the gas to compete toe to toe with RDRAM's impressive memory bandwidth.  As such, once again VIA, SiS and other chipset manufacturers tried to fill the performance void, with solutions of their own, some more promising than others.  Still it's a tall order, to compete in the high end, especially when no one knows how to build Pentium 4 chipsets, like the manufacturer of the CPU, Intel.

However, with the advent of Intel's Canterwood chipset, released a few short weeks ago, Performance PC Enthusiasts, System Integrators and OEMs alike, all have something to cheer about.  Finally we have a high performance Dual Channel DDR chipset for the Pentium 4, with an extremely high level of integration and it's built by Intel. 

Today, we'll take a look at two new motherboards built on the i875P "Canterwood" chipset, in a side by side comparison.  Two of the top Enthusiast Motherboard OEMs, Abit and Asus, will be showcased here.  Let's strap in, boot up, lock and load.  

Specifications & Features of Abit IC7-G and Asus P4C800
Canterwood driven features and performance


Abit IC7-G

  • Processor
    - Supports Intel® Pentium® 4 Socket 478 processors with 800/533MHz FSB only
    (400MHz FSB not supported)
    - Supports Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
     
  • Chipset
    - Intel® 875P / ICH5 RAID
    - Supports Intel® CSA Gigabit LAN
    - Supports Dual Channel DDR 400 with ECC function
    - Supports Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT) function
    - Supports Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI)
     
  • Memory
    - Four 184-pin DIMM sockets
    - Supports 4 DIMM Single/Dual Channel DDR 400 memory (Max. 4GB).
    - Supports configurable ECC function
     
  • AGP
    - Accelerated Graphics Port connector supports AGP PRO 8X/4X (0.8V/1.5V)
     
  • Serial ATA and Serial ATA RAID
    - 2 channel Serial ATA 150MB/s data transfer rate with RAID function (0) via South Bridge
    - 2 channel Serial ATA 150MB/s data transfer rate with RAID function (0/1) via Silicon Image PCI Chip
     
  • Audio
    - 6-Channel AC 97 CODEC on board
    - Professional digital audio interface supports 24-bit S/P DIF optical In/Out
    - 2 SPDIF Connectors On Backplate
     
  • Media XP (Optional)
    - Supports card reader function for Memory Stick?, Secure Digital? and Type I/II CompactFlash?
    - Supports Wireless Remote Control and S/PDIF Out / Mic In / Headphone Out / USB 2.0 / IEEE 1394
     
  • Gigabit LAN
    - On board Intel CSA (Communication Streaming Architecture) Gigabit LAN
     
  • IEEE 1394
    - 3 channels (one on backplate)
    - Supports IEEE 1394a at 100/200/400 Mb/s transfer rate
     
  • USB 2.0
    - Supports 8 USB2.0 ports (4 on backplate)
     
  • System BIOS
    - SoftMenu? Technology to set CPU parameters
    - CPU, Memory, and AGP voltage adjustable
    - Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio. Fixed AGP/PCI frequencies
    - Supports Plug-and-Play (PNP)
    - Supports Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI)
    - Supports Desktop Management Interface (DMI)
    - Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS
     
  • Internal I/O Connectors
    - 1 x AGP PRO, 5 x PCI slots, 1 x IrDA
    - 1 x Floppy Port supports up to 2.88MB
    - 2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100 Connectors  (via ICH5)
    - 4 x Serial ATA 150 Connectors (via ICH5 and Silicon Image Cntrl)
    - 2 x USB 2.0 headers, 2 x IEEE 1394a header
    - 1 x CD-IN, 1 x AUX-IN

 
Asus P4C800 Deluxe

  • Processor
    - Supports Intel® Pentium® 4 Socket 478 processors with 800/533/400MHz FSB
    - Supports Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
     

  • Chipset
    - Intel® 875P / ICH5 RAID
    - Supports Intel® CSA Gigabit LAN
    - Supports Dual Channel DDR 400 with ECC function
    - Supports Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT) function
    - Supports Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI)
     
  • Memory
    - Four 184-pin DIMM sockets
    - Supports 4 DIMM Single/Dual Channel DDR 400 memory (Max. 4GB).
    - Supports configurable ECC function
     
  • AGP
    - Accelerated Graphics Port connector supports AGP PRO 8X/4X (0.8V/1.5V)
     
  • Serial ATA and Serial ATA RAID
    - 2 channel Serial ATA 150MB/s data transfer rate with RAID function (0) via South Bridge
    - 2 channel Serial ATA 150MB/s data transfer rate with RAID function (0/1) via Promise 20378 RAID controller
     
  • Audio
    - AI Audio ADI AD1985 SoundMAX 6-channel CODEC
    - Audio Sensing and Enumeration Technology
    - Supports S/PDIF out interface
    - One RCA Connector On Backplate
     
  • Gigabit LAN
    - AI LAN 3COM 3C940 Gigabit LAN PCI Controller supporting 10/100/1000 BASE-T Ethernet
    - Virtual Cable Tester? Net-Diagnosing Utility
    - AI BIOS Feature CrashFree BIOS2, Q-Fan, Post Reporter
     
  • IEEE 1394
    - 3 channels (one on backplate)
    - Supports IEEE 1394a at 100/200/400 Mb/s transfer rate
     
  • USB 2.0
    - Supports 8 USB2.0 ports (4 on backplate)
     
  • System BIOS
    AI BIOS Feature CrashFree BIOS2, Q-Fan, Post Reporter
    AI Overclock -Intelligent CPU frequency tuner
    -ASUS JumperFree
    -CPU, Memory, and AGP voltage adjustable
    -SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection) from 100MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increment
    -Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio. Fixed AGP/PCI frequencies
    -ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall) 
     
  • Internal I/O Connectors
    - 1 x AGP PRO, 5 x PCI slots, 1 x IrDA
    - 1 x Floppy Port supports up to 2.88MB
    - 1 x  Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Connector (via Promise Cntrl)
    - 2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100 Connectors (via ICH5)
    - 4 x Serial ATA 150 Connectors  (via ICH5 and Promise Cntrl)
    - 2 x USB 2.0 headers, 2 x IEEE 1394a header
    - 1 x CD-IN, 1 x AUX-IN
    - 1 x ASUS WIFI Connector for optional wireless LAN upgrade


What can you say about the i875P chipset and its companion ICH5 Southbridge?  Plain and simple, it's got it all.  Serial ATA w/ RAID 0 support, Legacy ATA100, a 10/100/1000 LAN interface with Intel's CSA (Communication Streaming Architecture), 6 Channel Audio, USB2.0, AGP8X and Dual Channel DDR DRAM support up to 400MHz DDR.  Drop in an 800MHz capable System Bus (533 and 400MHz supported as well) and you've got just about everything you could want in a high performance P4 implementation.  Of course, Motherboard OEMs, like Abit and Asus, will continue to innovate and enhance this base architecture, adding more bells and whistles, as well as performance optimizations.  We tested Intel's D875PBZ, a nice, stable but shall we say, "conservative" Canterwood board direct from Intel, in our launch article.  The boards coming in now form various Taiwanese manufacturers, are darn impressive frankly.  Let's have a closer look at two of them.  First up, Abit's IC7-G...

Up Close and Personal With The Abit IC7-G

Tags:  Asus, C7, DS, Mobo, can, P4, Abit, board, bot, AR, and

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